Drink Your Own Kool-Aid

Thinking big starts with you. However, if you're not sure who you are or what you stand for how could you possible know how to think big and act bigger? It all comes down to being you - your most authentic, true self. And there is nothing more refreshing or liberating. Why? Because there can only be one of you! Might as well own it.

Owning who you are means being the same person you are at work than you are at home. However, there seems to be this unwritten rule that says we need to be different professionally and personally. Really? Who the hell wants to be two people? Or even has the energy to be two different people? It can be exhausting just being one person on most days, why complicate things?

Anyone who makes you think you can't be yourself and be successful is selling you a lie - because it is not your story that you're selling. Your story will evolve over time and you will have to adapt to change with the times, but if you've already defined the core of who you are and hold true, it won't change who you are, only how and what you do.

It's time to free yourself from the idea that you can't and start telling yourself you can. You and your business depend on it.

Who Are You

Step back and take a good look at yourself. Who are you? Not who do you want to be like or how you want others to perceive you. Be boldly honest with yourself and write down who you really are. Are you old fashioned, appreciate hard work, always late, honest to a fault? Me? I'm a bold, brass, bigger-than-life cowboy from South Dakota and everything about me reflects that.

Who you are should be reflected in everything you do, too - and by being totally honest with yourself, you'll be able to be totally honest with your friends, family, business partners, clients, employees, and everyone you meet. No one will ever cast doubt about who you are because they know you're as authentic as can be.

What Do You Want To Do

This is almost equivalent to: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" What do you want to do? What do you want your business to do? The easiest way to answer this is to define your conditions of satisfaction.

I define conditions of satisfaction as conditions that need to be met in order to accept or make any business decisions. Personally, I have three: make money, grow professionally, and have fun doing it. Every business decision I make must meet these three conditions in order for me to say yes.

Then re-evaluate those with the question: How do I get there? Do you need a certain amount in yearly revenue? Do you need to sell a certain number of franchises or licenses? Now you have your strategy defined.

Finally, consider your goals, the things you need to do in order to achieve those strategies to meet your objectives. You've defined your roadmap; now you better start driving!

What Is Your End Game

When is enough, enough? What is your ultimate goal? Is it to be the ultimate supreme leader of the universe? I'll tell you, that is an awfully lofty goal and good luck with that! However, if it's to build a business for your children to inherit, build a lifestyle your family can enjoy, or build towards retirement - keep your end game in mind. Your objectives, strategies, and goals may change, but you should never lose focus on why you got into the game in the first place. It'll be your 'true north' when navigating the rough business seas.

Connect To The Story That Sells You

Repeat after me: "Sell you, sell the company. Sell the company, sell you!" You are the biggest brand advocate, cheerleader, and fan of your company. No one can sell it, promote it, and praise it as well as you. Everything you and your team do for that business is a reflection of you, and in turn, you're a reflection of your business! So if people associate words like ethical, responsible, and trustworthy with you, make sure your business gets the same.

So how are your actions writing the story of your business? How are the actions of your employees and the way business operates writing your story? All of the questions above - who are you, what do you want to do, where do you want to go, and what is your end game - all play into the story of you, your business, and your life. And remember, it's better to be a first-rate version of yourself than a second-rate version of someone else.